For the second year running, Chile and Argentina will go head-to-head with the Copa America title on the line this weekend (8pm ET Sunday). Here is our preview of the final, including predictions and our concluding betting picks.
Holders Chile got off to a rather shaky start in the United States this summer, losing 2-1 to Argentina in their opening Group D encounter before requiring a penalty in the tenth minute of second half stoppage-time to defeat Bolivia in Foxborough.
A 4-2 win over Panama booked Chile’s place in the knockout rounds, where they have improved immensely. An extraordinary 7-0 thrashing of Mexico in the quarter-finals was not only one of the best performances of the competition but also one of the best in Chile’s recent history. They were also far superior to Colombia in the last four, a match that ended in a comfortable 2-0 triumph for Juan Antonio Pizzi’s charges. Chile certainly seem to have rediscovered their mojo after beginning the competition slowly, and confidence will be high ahead of Sunday’s final – particularly as La Roja overcame Argentina to lift the trophy last summer.
Gerardo Martino’s side have been in excellent form throughout this one-off Centenario edition of the tournament in the United States. After that aforementioned 2-1 success against Chile – and the margin of victory probably should have been larger after a dominant display – Argentina proceeded to brush aside Panama 5-0 and Bolivia 3-0, setting up a knockout tie with Venezuela in the last eight. That was negotiated reasonably comfortably, Gonzalo Higuain hitting a brace as the 14-time Champions won 4-1, before the United States were demolished 4-0 without even managing a single shot on goal. Argentina have played some excellent football ever since their first outing this summer, with revenge likely to be on their minds after last year’s painful penalty shoot-out loss to their upcoming opponents.
Chile only know one way to play and will therefore look to press high and hound and harry Argentina whenever they have possession of the ball on Sunday. Chile can be thrilling to watch and extremely dangerous to play against when they get into their stride, but Pizzi’s men can also be vulnerable when their attacking play does not click or the opposition manages to beat their first line of pressure.
Argentina will be looking to do exactly that this weekend, with their game plan working perfectly when these two sides faced each other earlier in Group D earlier in June. Lionel Messi (pictured) did not play in that match but has recovered from injury and starred since then. The Barcelona man will be desperate finally to win a senior trophy with the Argentine national team after near-misses at the World Cup in 2014 and the Copa America 12 months ago. It could be a moment of magic from him that ultimately makes the difference.
Our Preview’s Chile vs Argentina Betting Picks
Taking everything into account, though, our preview’s opinion is that the best betting pick is to back Chile to come out on top. Argentina certainly deserve to be favourites given their abundance of attacking riches and overall displays in the competition up to now, but Chile seem to be hitting top form at the right time and are a tempting proposition given the odds available. Indeed, there is not much value to be had in placing a wager on Argentina, but a Chile win by the correct scoreline – 2-1 could be a good choice – has the potential to bring a healthy return.
In terms of the goalscorer market, Eduardo Vargas to find the back of the net before anyone else looks to be a sound option. The Chilean is currently the competition’s leading scorer after converting six times in the group stage, last eight and semifinals. He is bound to get chances in what will hopefully be an open and entertaining affair.
- Match Betting Pick: Bet on Chile to win in normal time (90mins) @ +409 betting odds on the moneyline with 5Dimes Sportsbook. It is +375 with Bovada.
- Correct Score Betting Pick: If you want an addition or better-odds value pick then bet on Chile to beat Argentina by the correct score margin of 2-1 @ +1400 with Bovada Sportsbook.
- First Goal Scorer Betting Pick: Our prediction is Eduardo Vargas to score the game’s first goal @ +650 with Bovada.